The 254

Jennifer Pisarcik

By Kevin Tankersley

Versatility in Spades

If you ever find yourself out driving in the country near Mosheim, a tiny community near Valley Mills, and you happen upon a woman singing opera to her cows and chickens, then you’ve probably found Jennifer Pisarcik.

“I’m a coloratura soprano,” Pisarcik said. “It’s [a technique] going up and down the scale with a lot of different notes. And it’s a lighter voice. It’s not real heavy. Natalie Dessay is probably one of the greatest at that.”

But Pisarcik is much more than an opera singer. She’s also a singer-songwriter who spends time in Nashville at least once a month, taking part in multiple songwriting sessions every day and networking with others in the music business while also performing her original work.

“I loved opera and performing and being on stage,” she said. “But as I got a little bit older, I decided that I want to write something from me. With opera, it’s a beautiful thing, that you get to sing these things by other composers, beautiful things they’ve created. But I wanted to create something on my own and be able to share that.”

Locally, she and McLennan Community College music professor Jon Fox team up for shows at venues such as Klassy Glass, Valley Mills Vineyards and La Fiesta.
Pisarcik and Fox perform a variety of genres, from jazz standards by Ella Fitzgerald to classic rock à la Journey, Pat Benatar and the Eagles, to more mellow tunes by some of Pisarcik’s favorites like James Taylor, Jim Croce and Michael McDonald.

“Versatility is our friend,” she said of their repertoire.

Pisarcik grew up in Mineola, an East Texas town of about 4,700. She was involved in music early.

“My parents from a young age put me in talent shows, musicals, pageants. I sang in church too,” she said.

She attended Tyler Junior College and moved to Waco around 2006 to attend MCC and then Baylor to continue her music education. She’s studied voice, French horn, piano and music education.

“I’ve got a lot of tools in my belt,” she said of her varied musical interests.

As for what she hopes to do in the music business, Pisarcik said she wants to sing the rest of her days.

“Musically, obviously I want to perform until I die. That’s just kind of standard. But I would like to get on the radio. I write. I co-write with lots of people. People have sung my music, in all different genres. [That’s] something that I would like to do. Before I exit [this life], you know, just have a song on the radio and people say, ‘Oh, yeah. She wrote that song. That song really touched me.’”

Pisarcik and her husband, Kyle, raise pigs, cows, goats and chickens on their farm.

“I’m such a Texas girl,” she said. “I love Texas so much.”

As much as she loves Texas, she does travel. In addition to Nashville, a recent trip took her to New York, where she saw Billy Joel perform at Madison Square Garden.

“And of course he sang ‘New York State of Mind,’” she said, “and everybody just went nuts.”

A Surreal Moment

In New York, Pisarcik finally got to experience the live version of ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ which she listened to countless times as a child.

“Of course, it isn’t like opera opera, but it kind of is. Musically, it has a lot of operatic influences,” she said. “When I was little, I would listen to it over and over and over and over again. I wanted to be Sarah Brightman, so she’s another one of my influences. I finally got to see it in New York this last time I went, and it was just amazing. Of course I cried, and it was just a really surreal moment.”